After looking at Willy’s week-to-week futility, I thought it was appropriate to do the same for his partner in havoc, Jerry Hairston, Jr.

JHJ’s season hasn’t been good – especially for a guy batting #2 in the lineup – but he hasn’t reached Willy Levels of futility, either.  But take a look at the second chart, too.

Hairston’s performance (measured by OPS) almost exactly tracks his playing time (I divided his actual Plate Apperances by 35, to get them on the same scale as OPS).

It’s really interesting.  I figure it can be one of four things:

  1. Injury-related.  When Hairston is healthy enough to play, he’s healthy enough to hit well.
  2. Hairston really needs playing time to be effective.  I don’t think this is it, or we’d see increased production always follow increased playing time – what you do see there at the end.
  3. The Genius of Dusty Baker – recognizing JHJ’s hot streaks perfectly.  I could be wrong, but I’m not sure the chart shows this, either.
  4. A coincidence.  Sample size is small and the weekly cutoffs arbitrary.

4 Responses

  1. pinson343

    I would go with explanation number 1.

  2. brublejr

    I go with number 4…JHJ is a very streaky player that can give a spark at times and plays many positions, the exact kind of player that is a great bench player. He simply is not a long term starter.

    He is a very valuable guy to have on the bench…but if he starts everyday, your team is not in very good shape.

  3. David

    I think it is a combination. When your playing time is limited it is extremely difficult to get hot. It is also extremely difficult to bust out of a slump. I figure this is why Baker sticks with slumping players for as long as he does. I also do think that Dusty Baker knows what matchups favor his players, and I believe he has been really good at maximizing Dickerson’s and Hanigan’s matchups to put them in a position to succeed.

  4. Chris Garber

    That’s a fair point, David. Of course, it highlights the question, “Why doesn’t he do the same for Taveras, JHJ, Ramon Hernandez, or Alex Gonzalez?” (I’ll concede that nobody could help Janish, Rosales, McDonald, or Richar)